25 July 2001

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MIDI to call for proposals for historical cultural project content

MIDI Chairman Albert Mizzi last week spoke to journalists being shown around Fort Tigne’ in the third information session held on site over the last seven months. The trip reinforced MIDI’s intention to keep the Maltese public abreast on the project’s progress.

It was explained that MIDI will soon be issuing a call for submission of proposals which would identify and employ interesting feasible ideas with a high level of historical and cultural content at Fort Tigne’ and its immediate surrounding area.

Such activities may include an artisans market, modern art gallery, theatre, two open-air restaurants and facilities for small seminars and conferences. MIDI said that it is interested in hearing from other entrepreneurs, as well as from professional associations and other special interest groups which would be willing to develop parts of Fort Tigne’.

"Before MIDI embarked on the largest development project which Malta would ever see during this decade, we made sure that the project respects the historical elements present at Tigne’ Point and Manoel Island," said Mr Mizzi, "Well before even one stone was removed, MIDI had already invested heavily and undertaken an enormous amount of planning, finance, research and impact assessment studies spanning over the last eight years. All this has been incorporated in the lease agreement signed in June 2000 which makes this document nothing less than a blueprint for other similar projects.

"The professional preservation and responsible transformation of Fort Tigne’ is being carried out under the supervision of Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna (FWA). This active voluntary and non-profit organisation, which is quite outspoken when it comes to safeguarding our historical heritage, is acting as the public’s guarantor that our work in this area is up to the highest professional standard and in respect to the historical values according to the latest developments in this field," said Mr Mizzi.

Mr Mizzi then presented Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna’s Executive Director, Mario Farrugia, with a sponsorship cheque which will go towards the expense involved by FWA in order to be able to carry out its supervisory work on this project.

Mario Farrugia said, "By allowing FWA to act as monitor on the project, MIDI has shown its clear interest in safeguarding the best elements of the heritage buildings within the limits of their project. "FWA involvement guarantees that no undue damage is caused to the historic buildings on site. FWA will be interested to assist MIDI in managing the historic forts and shore batteries as part of its cultural obligation," said Mr Farrugia.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt